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I hope to have quite a few posts like this in the future. This is my main area of interest, I suppose. In my class last night, GLBT 3301, GLBT Social Movements in the US, we discussed those things inside and outside of the movement. I thought I made two rather intelligent additions to the lists, for inside I said “identity” and for outside I sad “heterosexual hegemony”. One of the more striking responses to outside the GLBT Movement was the Red Cross in reference to the discrimination against gay males donating blood.

Of course, the idea is not that if you are male and have a sexual orientation of gay that you cannot give blood, it is merely that you cannot donate if you are a man who has had sex with a man since 1974. WTF?! I mean seriously…What about all the introvenous drug users, straight people who sleep with prostitutes, people who have had multiple partners? In the beginnings of the AIDS pandemic, this legislation possibly had some value. It appeared that HIV was only affecting homosexual men, and having to throw away blood is expensive.

One student in my course made the argument that this is basically an economical function. The blood drives test the blood in pools of 100 donors, and if one batch is infected, the entire batch must be thrown out. This student, while sexual orientation is not known, was not male. I feel it is often easier for someone to be discriminative when outside of a group. She claimed that it is not discrimination, rather a sensible practice.

What I am trying to argue is that we should create some other sort of prescreening test which would better detect those who are at high risk for HIV. Statistics show that gay men get tested more regularly for STIs and HIV than straight men. And of course, woman should not be prescreened in this fashion, because that would be gender discrimination…wtf?! If you are opposed to discrimination, you should attempt to see it from all sides…consider the rights of more than just your group.

I, as a gay male, have tested more than once as HIV negative. If the US suddenly becomes in dire need of blood, I feel they will perhaps look to the gay male community again. Where will we be? Is it suddenly our responsibility to help a country that has discriminated against us? If the legislation changes for another reason, that is another story entirely.

The screening criteria is outdated, prejudiced, and discriminatory and needs to be changed.

So this semester has started with a bang. It’s the first day, and I’m already exhausted. Yay! This semester has the potential to be the most challenging of my college career…and I was a vocal performance major.

My classes are as follows:

GLBT Literature: Queer Ways of Knowing
Sexuality and Culture
Gay Men and Homophobia in American Culture
(Re)Writing the Dancing Body
Composition 5
Modern 8
GLBT Social Movements

Each class, besides the Modern 8, has about 6-8 hours of work outside of class per week. I just got my reading list for my GLBT Lit course, and it’s 10 novels, plus numerous articles on WebCT…how exciting…I really think I should just lock myself in a room and read for the rest of the semester…and write my senior paper…oh yes, I’m also writing my senior paper, which is about 50 pages in length and performing in UDT and going to ACDFA…I really do hope to be alive by the end of May…most people call it insanity…I call it normal.

It’s time again for back to school shopping. I’ll be heading to the Mall of America this coming Thursday to shop for my new spring clothes. I probably won’t get much, but a few essentials are necessary for this semester/spring, I feel.

For men, it is slightly imperative to have a good bootcut jean. I know men don’t get as many options as the females when it comes to denim, or really anything else in clothing for that matter, but a good pair of denim is worth a little spending money. I have a few suggestions.

For those of you who can spare the extra money, and are willing to pay a little more for your jeans (or a lot more for that matter), you should look into the wonderful Rock & Republic denim selection. These jeans are tailored to the tall, thin man — and if you are such a man, you understand how difficult it can be to find a good pair of denim. If you live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul neighborhood, you can find a nice selection at Metropark in Mall of America. At this same store, one can find the True Religion denim line. The last three higher-priced denim lines which I will recommend are Diesel, Replay, and 7 for All Mankind. These last three have Jeans for all body types. Diesel and Replay are Italian Brands and have many of the latest trends. You can find a good skinny jean in any of these locations.

For the man with the lower budget, which is most people I know, including myself, I recommend denim that fits similarly to these jeans. You can normally find pretty quality denim at the Buckle. You don’t have to buy a pair of Guess Jeans or Lucky Jeans, but the BKE brand is actually quite nice. Levi Jeans have recently begun making newer and better jeans which are more trendy, such as the skinny jean. My first pair of skinnies come from Levi, and cost me only $24. That’s a pretty good deal for a good pair of jeans. One of my favorite stores of all time is H&M;. Here, you can find the perfect jean for almost any occasion and they are really pretty fairly priced. There is always something on sale in retail…just look for the deals.

If you are a girl, I actually reccomend all the same jean companies, plus Citizens and Express. I know I work at Express, but for women, we make a really good, comfy, and classy jean. For the more feminine man, we also make a DPD collection for women, which fits remarkably similarly to those 200 dollar plus designer jeans I linked to above. These jeans are around $100, but it’s a nice hundred saved, and they look amazing.

I didn’t mean to be a Jean-freak, but I think that’s all I can post for right now. I love jeans; my boyfriend has gone as far as calling me a denim whore…what can I say, I appreciate some quality jeans. There truly is a perfect fit for everyone, no matter what size or shape. The tighter, the better, sorry guys and girls. If they’re baggy, they just make you look bigger than you actually are, so stop trying to hide your body.

Honestly, one thing I’ve found more fascinating than anything is the idea that if we wear baggy clothes, maybe people will think we’re less fat. This DOES NOT WORK. It makes you look frumpy, tacky, and huge. Wear clothes that fit. There should not be excess fabric in the wast, chest, thighs, or whatever. Unless you are looking at a silhouette which utilizes such fabrics. Babydolls are no longer maternity tops ladies…it’s ok to wear them.

Ok, that’s it. I hope this is better than that horrible fashion section in the daily by Mr. Leth. I’ll leave with this Rock & Republic fashion show. They are truly my favorite jean.

Last night was an extremely dramatic episode of the extremely popular Project Runway, which airs Wednesday nights on Bravo, if you have not already started watching. It’s a reality television series which centers on the designer creating outfits each week. It’s dramatic, larger than life, and full of wonderful personalities.

My favorite contestant to date, is Jack Mackenroth. He hails from Seattle, but was actually born in Minneapolis (yay us!). He is a professional athlete and openly homosexual. He swims in the gay games and is open about his positive HIV status. Jack is also a very talented designer. His work can be found both on his website and on his Myspace. I am a particular fan of his menswear collections. It’s trendy and very practical. I would wear it in an instant.

What is most troublesome about Jack’s departure from this season of Project runway was the fact that he left not due to a poor design, but to a Staph infection in his face. He had to leave the show to get intense treatment for five days, which prompted the producers to bring back Chris, a large, costumey gay man. I was rather upset. Jack was talented. He had won a challenge and was never in danger of being in the bottom. He could’ve and possibly would’ve made it all the way to fashion week. I feel it is in the producers’ best interest to allow Jack back on to the show next season, OR to give him another chance by putting him back in later. They have done it in the past, and they did it with Chris. He is so talented, and I feel he is such a positive role model for HIV positive, gay men and gay men in general.

Cheers to Jack, and poo the producers. Below I will leave you with one of his amazing videos on youtube. Hilarious.

Last night my roommates and I were sitting in our living room watching some priceless television when we hear an all-to familiar sound. The drip drip drop of water coming through our ceiling fan and bathtub. I’m sick of it, really. If I could, I would turn the water off to the woman who lives above us. Ridiculous.

I’m now watching the Today show, and they’re talking to a woman who is in charge of the Ford Models, and they asked her “Can you tell if someone will make it when they walk in the door?” She promptly replies, “Yes, and personality has nothing to do with it. You can tell if their features will work right away.” It’s funny because the woman wasn’t so beautiful. Who decides what is beauty, what is sexy, what is model-accepted? Couldn’t we just change the cameras or like something else in a model? Is it really just cheaper to make smaller clothes? Less fabric? Last night Phillip and I were having a discussion about gay men and their roles in defining masculinity/femininity. For if we are truly “acculturated” to think of certain things as masculine or feminine, these ideas must come from somewhere. Ideas of masculinity and femininity used to be learned in a setting such as Dance lessons, where one learned proper ettiquete, and ways to be masculine or feminine. Now, we look to television.

The idea of the feminine comes from the fashion. Who is, for the most part, in charge of fashion? The gay male is in many cases the head of fashion. There have always been dressmakers, costume designers, drapers, dance teachers, etc. The straight male is often “in charge” of the realm of masculinity, whereas the gay male is relegated to that of femininity. The ebb and flow of homophobia in western culture (and non-western cultures for that matter) is a good measure of the level of masculinity in a society. The less homophobic a culture is, the less gendered a society will seem. The recent rise of “metrosexuality” is, in my humble opinion, an attempt to degender a certain demographic.

As Phillip put it, the straight male is the one who loses. He has three options.
1) He has sex with a gay male
2) He lets the gay male define masculinity
3) He defines masculinity, leaving the gay male to define femininity and what is sexy to them.

I leave you with this thought. I am not trying to take away power from women, by any means, in this theory. It is just interesting where we learn our gender stereotypes? Are gay men acting like women, or are women acting like gay men? When will we all realize that gender stereotyping is just a waste of energy that we could be using to save the environment?

Wear a fricking jacket, you stupid teenagers!

Today on my walk to work, it was 0 degrees and felt like negative 18 degrees.

I think California sounds better and better. Why do I live in this arctic hellhole?

I’m way tired.

I’m more impressed that I actually spelled that word correctly on the first try than the rest of this blog. This weekend has come to a less-than spectacular close. It’s eleven-eleven, and I’ve been noticing this time more and more. It seems I’m always looking at the clock when it’s this time. Perhaps this just means I look too much at at time. My world is extremely reliant on time. I am scheduled for most of my day, if not by other people, then in my own mind. What would happen if I just tried to stop scheduling myself and just go places when I feel it’s time. Would I sleep better? Would I be happier? Would I ever be at the right place at the right time? I think all the answers would be no…haha, at least at first. I would be too paranoid about time to let myself not think about it. Perhaps after a few weeks I could get used to it. Will I ever write anything interesting?

New paragraph. I’m working on my senior paper. I’d like to go to grad school somewhere. I have a few options and I’m trying to figure them out as I type this.

Option A:
U of Minnesota
American Studies PhD
Dance Studies Certificate
GLBT Grad Minor

World Arts and Cultures: Culture and Performance PhD

UC Riverside
Dance History and Theory PhD

PhD in Performance Sudies

I will be making Pros and Cons lists of all these. I won’t be applying until next year, when I’ll have time and when I can take the GRE and prepare adequately for it. The perks to the U of M is that I’d get to work with Ananya, but each other place has other amazing faculty who I could also work with. It’s just so much to think about at this time. What think you?

I want opinions…I also want to be able to dance, and U of M and NYU have the best options for finding a company to dance in while I’m in school. So many choices. California would be right next to my friend Kally, who I have not seen in quite some time.

Feedback please!

So one of my jobs is a fashion expert at Express at Rosedale Mall in Roseville, MN. I hope this means you will not come try to find me and kill me at my mall or something. I doubt that it will happen, because anyone who reads this probably knows who I am. As I’m working today I start to realize my power as an obviously homosexual male. I’m wearing women’s jeans, size 27…roughly size 4…a tight red long-sleeved T from American Apparel, and a cute Argyle vest from H&M.; My shoes are a very smart black Steve Madden dress shoe. My title, fashion expert, implies that I have some sense of fashion to myself…I tend to think this is true, but when I look back just 4 years ago at pictures of myself I could question such a notion.

I used to think that Express was the height of male denim(and at that time, they made Denim Lab jeans, which, let’s face it, were pretty hot.) I thought American Eagle was the height of fashion, and Abercrombie was too expensive for me. Since then, I have become familiar with the clothing store H&M;, which for the first time, carried sizes that fit me appropriately. There were actually sizes too small for me. American Apparel was the same way for me. I no longer wear men’s Express jeans, and I wear the women’s, because my idea of how a jean should fit has changed. I feel a tighter, more designer look suits me better. Does this make me conceited? I don’t know. I know it has opened the world of Diesel, Rock & Republic, True Religion, 7s, and Replays into my spectrum. I have since tried on a pair of Rock & Republic denim that is designed specifically for men which fit me the way I would like a jean to fit. The problem is they cost more than I would like to pay for a jean. Maybe I could get them at Nordstrom rack, but I don’t want to wait that long. I am planning a Jean’s fund where I put $25 in my savings account each paycheck until i have the 220 that they cost.

The reason I bring all this up is the fact that style is constantly changing. What is in, what is out, really doesn’t matter much. I tis what looks best for you…what compliments you. I feel a person must wear things which compliment their figures, their personalities, and their age. I would rather look at someone who looks comfortable in a pair of sweats than a person who looks uncomfortable in a pair of skinny jeans. Just make it work! Love what you wear! Everyone can find a style! Long live H&M;!!!!

I’m currently watching the film Pulp Fiction, and I’ve never been more in the mood for a milkshake than right now. What brought this on? I’m not really sure. It could be that it’s 1:21 a.m., and I just took some Tylenol P.M. I can feel the affects of it as I type this blog. I fear that I will want to delete this post tomorrow.

I think perhaps an issue I have with blogs is that they are deletable. So many written documents have been lost because someone threw it out or burned it. Why then, do we create such an option for a digital document? Are our thoughts so temporal that we must be able to prove that we never thought them? It seems to me that if there is infinite space for saving it, we should want a collective of these thoughts at some time. It does not do any good to attempt to forget what we have already thought or written, as it makes up part of what we are currently thinking. How presumptuous of someone to think (s)he can discard an experience or thought like a piece of trash. I’m not trying to be all weird. I’m not on drugs. I’m just tired.

This is a lame blog…I will try to write more when I am less tired, but I will not delete it.

Last night I had a dream the world was ending. I know I played some role in it, and it was in the not-to distant future. It started when a meteor/asteroid fell from the sky and hit earth. It somehow messed up the Earth’s magnetic field, which caused all the planes to fall down from the sky, and all the cars and basically every motorized vehicle to explode. It was terrifying and a lot of people died. Planes just started falling out of the skies and crashing. Everyone on the ground was freaked out…I could replay the memory in my dream quite a few times. It was disturbing. But I could transport to this other dementson which would go back before the asteroid and I could change it, but I didn’t know how. I could make it go to a different place…I wasn’t sure why or how, but I was changing the end of the world. I could see it all happen from above in this spaceship like place. It was sort of trippy. I woke up very restless…like I had not slept at all. I hope to go that something like this does not come to pass. I don’t really even think it’s possible.

For all of those who love good music… is a great device where you can create playlists, and listen to them whenever you want. I love it. It’s amazing.

I just got hit with a wave of tiredness, must not fall asleep, but will probably go off and watch some random romantic comedie until I cry myself silly and eat a lb of cookie dough.

I thought I needed a man, but what I really need is a treadmill.